Deeply unsympathetic view of mid-twentieth century Paris life, with touches of Céline and Genet. Debauchery, entrapment, hollowness and explosive anger. Subtle tonal shifts (including tongue-in-cheek comic moments) within a compact narrative result in a more grounded version of nouvelle vague, far removed from Godard's meta wankery.
Un interesante retrato sobre las relaciones amorosas de un grupo de mujeres en su mayoría de una misma generación. Y no necesariamente por al final, Chabrol teje una especie de romanticismo decadente mediante las relaciones que van teniendo las mujeres que se cruzan con una masculinidad egoísta producto de la rutina, los prejuicios. Todas están al margen de sus propias fantasías. Lo final, es escalofriante.
"A valentine written in poisoned ink, and the cinematic equivalent of Tough Love. It sinks its teeth down to the acrid core of its characters, yet chews them with real affection. A critical and popular misfire in France at the time of its release in 1960, Femmes wasn’t even shown in the U.S until 1966, by which time it was already overshadowed by the French New Wave’s more famous efforts." - Tom Block, CultureVulture
Anything by Chabrol is worth the time. This one gives us a Paris full of cute girls and a lot of creeps. The central problem is how to separate the truly dangerous ones from the merely obnoxious. The viewer's sense of dread ratchets upward as the girls seem to be having more and more fun. The end reveals the sour ironic core that we have known was under the sweetness all along, It remains shocking all the same.
Essential Nouvelle Vague. Chabrol is great, I want to see all of his films, but what really makes it for me is the photography by Henri Decae. It is his eye that gave the unmistakable look of films such as The 400 Blows. Bob le Flambeur, and Elevator to the Gallows, all of which have my highest recommendation.
A very strange and mysterious film, mixing many tones and not fully revealing itself until you wake up the next day with the final images still in your head. As a tribute to flings, fantasies, and falling for beautiful strangers, it is appropriately both terrifying and giddy with joy, and likely to confuse people who think a film should be one or the other. Would make a great double bill with STRANGER BY THE LAKE.
A staple French New Wave film. Like many of his colleagues and contemporaries, Chabrol was a critic for Cahiers du cinéma. This movie is especially memorable for its dance scenes, the free-spirited females at the heart of the narrative, and the unseen ending that lends itself to multiple interpretations. Essential viewing for those interested in the "nouvelle vague."
A key film of the early French New Wave cinema is this strange, bold, naturalistic picture from Chabrol. We follow a trio of Parisien shopgirls and their travails with the men in their lives; the ones they want and the ones they rather not have. The pursuit of romance and dreams seems to end in disappointment and in the final section far worse. Beautiful to look at featuring some wonderful performances. Disturbing.
Romanticism is cornered with bitter undercurrents in this deeply sad slice of parisian life flick. By the end, we witness beautiful lives nearly destroyed but there is vague sense of hope. The only complaint I have is that I wanted to know more about the girls. They seemed so pretty but their lives were so hollow. I probably love this movie but I'll have to return to it to see.
Tonal ambivalence, significant moments passing under open vaults of incidental perspective. Chabrol deepens cinematic fault lines without a catastrophic maelstrom of New Wave flippancy and insouciance: a partial break, like Antonioni's earliest; Les Bonnes Femmes pairs well with Le Amiche. Finale of courage and despair; one for youthful emotion, the other for its realization in doom or inconclusiveness.